Thanks to God, Prayers and Neurosurgeons, I Am Alive and Well
Typically healthy 55 year old widow with 3 wonderful children and four adorable grandchildren. (and one more on the way) Unfortunately my husband passed away 14 years ago with Melanoma Cancer. He was a wonderful husband, father and my best friend. I can relate to all of you that have lost a loved one. I have five healthy sisters, two brothers and several nieces and nephews. I am the youngest of the family. We are a very close loving family that believes in God and prayers, thanks to our wonderful mother who passed away two years ago. I have worked within the Information Technology field for 20 years and plan on working for several more years. I live in St Louis area as do all my children, sisters and one brother. During the time I was hospitalized and at home after the three surgeries, my entire family and pastor was there for me. I do not know how I would have made it through the surgeries without the support and love from God and my family. Good luck to you all and God be with you and your loved ones.
18 February 2004
I read the stories regarding individuals and families that endured the traumatic experience of Intracranial Aneurysms. I am a victim but a very blessed victim of a bleeding aneurysm experience.
At the age of 54, my attack occurred in December 2002 when I was washing my car at a car wash. I experienced this horrible pain in my neck that proceeded into my head. My first thoughts were a heart attack.
I tried to call one of my three grown children, none of them were home so I called my sister. I told her symptoms and tell my children to meet me at home. I drove home and my children called and were on their way. They took me to the closest hospital emergency room and within 30 minutes I had a spinal tap.
The results of the spinal tap came back positive, blood in the spinal fluid. They took me to ICU and told me and my family they suspected a bleeding intracranial aneurysm that would require surgery. After 3 days of more tests they moved me to another hospital that had the best neurosurgeon staff.
At the new hospital I was immediately scheduled for cranial surgery. Like others, I did not know anything for several days but the surgeons informed my family it was life threatening with possibility of permanent disabilities.
My family is very dedicated and devoted to God, so the prayer request was reaching hundreds all over the USA.
The surgeons found two aneurysms, the small one was behind my left eye and the larger one that burst was in the cranial area. During the first surgery they inserted a coil they believed would work. They later discovered the coil was not successful. Through an arterial angio-gram they inserted a clamp. Unfortunately from additional tests the clamp had shifted and allowed more bleeding. The last hope was a stint that was a new procedure and only been used on very few patients. Thank God for new medical procedures......it worked!!!
I was hospitalized from January to March and released with success! No physical handicaps at all except for short term memory loss. My family took turns staying with me during recovery from all the surgeries. I am a widow and all my children are married with families.
I also experienced the excruciating painful headaches everyone else described, but after the surgeries. The surgeons put me on some sort of medication but the headaches kept getting worse. They told me the headaches would eventually go away. I was also later put on Beta Blocker for migraine.
It is now February 2004, I stopped taking the Beta Blocker because my headaches are less severe. I am down to 3-4 Motrins a day that I take when I feel the headache coming on. I have less energy than I did prior to the attack but I can live with that.
I have to return to the hospital in July 2004 for a follow up angiogram to ensure the stint, clamp and coils are all in place. I feel confident the results will be positive because God spared my life and will continue to watch over me. My wonderful neurosurgeon told me I was his 'miracle' patient from all I experienced with no disabilities. He informed me that 50% of bleeding aneurysms do not survive and 25% of survivors have permanent disabilities. He is one of the most skilled and kindest surgeons I have ever known.
I am so touched and my sympathy goes out to all of you who lost your loved one from an aneurysm. Thank you for taking the time to read about my experiences with intracranial bleeding aneurysm.
Update: 9 May 2004
I believe I mentioned the coil, clamp and stint my neurosurgeons used to save my life. The surgeons located two AVM, small one behind left eye and the larger one that was bleeding.
The first surgical procedure performed from opening the skull was to insert the coils and clamps. Unfortunately one of the clamps shifted, the surgeons attempted to maneuver the clamp by going in through the artery. The procedure was not successful so they requested permission to insert a stint which was a relatively new procedure for AVMs. Myself and my family agreed since the situation was life threatening. It was a success.
I have returned to the hospital twice within the last year for repeat angiogram to ensure the coils are in place, which they are.
As I mentioned in my previous submission, I am doing wonderful! I experienced traumatic headaches for several months, now they are very mild and far between. I still experience short-term memory, loss of taste and smell. I can live with this and just thank God I am alive and well. My heart aches for some of the victims I have read about within this group and my prayers are with all of the families and survivors who continue to suffer.
My most recent unfortunate experience is that I have lost two jobs after my employer found out that I had experienced the AVM bleed. I work as a consultant within the field of technology on contract-to-contract bases. I have never been released prior to the contract end-date before. The first time this happened, I overlooked it. When the second company found out and releived me of my duties within two days I knew what was happening.
Good Luck and God Bless you all!!
Update: 25 October 2005
It has been several months since I have posted any updates to this group even though I read them constantly. I wanted to comment on the stories regarding Identity Theft to one of our members during his surgery in the hospital. This is so disgusting that anyone would take advantage of a patient that is fighting for his life and steal their identity.
I recently became very involved in the consequences of identity theft since I know several that has had their idenity stolen. It can takes months and thousands of dollars to restore one's identity. However, a close friend introduced me to a plan that can protect anyone's identity. I enrolled in the plan and extremely impressed with the constant monitoring of my credit reports sent to me via email. If by chance I should get my identity stolen this company will also restore it. Few companies that offer this new type of insurance provides restoration. Identity theft is the fastes growing crime in the USA so be careful when you use an ATM machine, hand credit cards to a server in a public establishment, place unshredded personal information in the trash or leave mail in unlocked mailbox.
Also an update on my experience with Cranial Aneurysm surgery in 2002. My headaches have ceased to exist, however recently I am experiencing extreme short-term memory which has affected my ability to hold a job. I have an appointment with my neurologist next week and I pray to God that he can eliminate this problem with medication and it is not anything serious.
God bless you all and don't give up, my prayers are with you!
Discussion, comments, or questions: Linda Miller
© Copyright 2004 Linda Miller